Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!! To our Heavenly Father.‏ - June 16, 2014

The smallest Nutella bottle known to man. It is literally a one time use and be done type of thing. Sasuga Nihon. Crossed flags

FHE at Suzuki Shimai's house.‏

Yes, eyeballs are so yummy. It was so hilarious because before
Takahashi Shimai grabbed one with her chopsticks, she said, えびさん.
Maybe you are the only one who will get this dad. But they even add
san to things that they are about to eat. Funny.
June 16, 2014 
Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there. Thank you for being who
you are! I'm sure many of you might have seen this before, but it has
always been a favorite of mine. Enjoy:

Men on earth have the opportunity to become fathers and experience
some of the same joys that our Heavenly Father feels for us.
Fatherhood is a divine responsibility to be cherished.
Now, let me tell you about some of the miracles/lessons I learned this week.
First if all, I've been thinking about the small and simple things.
That's really all this gospel is and my mission has really
strengthened my testimony of that. I wanted to share with you a talk
that has always hit me strong. Maybe one of you, maybe more needs this
in your life right. I pray that is the case. It is called A Matter of
a Few Degrees.
"In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New
Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to
the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a
mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to
the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached
Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the
passengers a better look at the landscape. Although both were
experienced pilots, neither had made this particular flight before,
and they had no way of knowing that the incorrect coordinates had
placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano
that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000
feet (3,700 m).
As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the
volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear
as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the
instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward
them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the
volcano, killing everyone on board.
It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error--a matter of
only a few degrees.1
Through years of serving the Lord and in countless interviews, I have
learned that the difference between happiness and misery in
individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error
of only a few degrees.
Is There a Lesson for Our Lives in These Examples?
Small errors and minor drifts away from the doctrine of the gospel of
Jesus Christ can bring sorrowful consequences into our lives. It is
therefore of critical importance that we become self-disciplined
enough to make early and decisive corrections to get back on the right
track and not wait or hope that errors will somehow correct
The longer we delay corrective action, the larger the needed changes
become, and the longer it takes to get back on the correct
course--even to the point where a disaster might be looming.
You men of the priesthood have been entrusted with a great
responsibility. Just think of it: our Heavenly Father trusts you young
deacons, teachers, and priests with the “key of the ministering of
angels and the preparatory gospel.”13 You men of the Melchizedek
Priesthood have received an oath and a covenant in which you have been
promised all the Father has if you magnify your priesthood.14
The Lord reminds us that “unto whom much is given much is required.”15
Those who bear the priesthood of God have a great responsibility to be
examples of goodness to the world. We live up to these expectations
when we quickly recognize the dangers and influences that tempt us to
drift from the Lord’s way and when we courageously follow the
promptings of the Holy Ghost to make decisive corrections that will
bring us back on course.
This conference is being translated into 92 languages and broadcast to
96 countries by the miracle of modern technology. Many of you brethren
attend general conference by means of the Internet. New technologies
such as this make it possible for the gospel message to be spread
throughout the world. The Church Web sites are good examples of how
you can use this technology as a wonderful resource of inspiration,
help, and learning. They can be a blessing for you priesthood holders,
your families, and the Church.
But be cautious. These same technologies can allow evil influences to
cross the threshold of your homes. These dangerous traps are only a
mouse click away. Pornography, violence, intolerance, and ungodliness
destroy families, marriages, and individual lives. These dangers are
distributed through many media, including magazines, books,
television, movies, and music, as well as the Internet. The Lord will
help you to recognize and avoid those evils. It is the early
recognition of danger and a clear course correction that will keep you
in the light of the gospel. Minor decisions can lead to major
Entering a strange and risky chat room on the Internet could lead you
into the center of a raging storm. Putting a computer in a private
room that the rest of the family cannot access could be the starting
point for a deceitful and dangerous journey.
But the Lord requires not only outward acts but also your inner
thoughts and feelings to be close to the spirit of the law.16 God
“require[s] the heart and a willing mind.”17
We, the priesthood of God, have the responsibility and the power of
self-direction: “It is not meet that I should command in all things,”
saith the Lord. “Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and
do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much
righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto
Our Heavenly Father knew before we came to this mortal existence that
negative forces would tempt us to drift from our course, “for all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”19 That is why He prepared
a way for us to make corrections. Through the merciful process of true
repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven
and we will “not perish, but have everlasting life.”20
Our willingness to repent shows our gratitude for God’s gift and for
the Savior’s love and sacrifice on our behalf. Commandments and
priesthood covenants provide a test of faith, obedience, and love for
God and Jesus Christ, but even more importantly, they offer an
opportunity to experience love from God and to receive a full measure
of joy both in this life and in the life to come.
These commandments and covenants of God are like navigational
instructions from celestial heights and will lead us safely to our
eternal destination. It is one of beauty and glory beyond
understanding. It is worth the effort. It is worth making decisive
corrections now and then staying on course.
Remember: the heavens will not be filled with those who never made
mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and
who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.
The more we treasure the words of the prophets and apply them, the
better we will recognize when we are drifting off course--even if only
by a matter of a few degrees.
What If We Have Drifted Far off Course?
Now, brethren, there are those who have neglected to make appropriate
course corrections and now believe that they are too far from the
Lord’s way to ever make it back. To them we proclaim the good news
that is the gospel of redemption and salvation. No matter how terribly
off course you are, no matter how far you have strayed, the way back
is certain and clear. Come, learn of the Father; offer up a sacrifice
of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Have faith, and believe in
the cleansing power of the infinite Atonement of Jesus the Christ. If
we confess and repent of our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.21 “Though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be [made] as white as snow.”22
It may not be an easy path, and it requires self-discipline and
determination, but its end is glorious beyond description. You are not
doomed to a tragic end. Many are eager to assist you--your family,
bishops and stake presidents, your quorum leaders, and home teachers.
Of course, your greatest friend is the all-powerful Creator of the
universe. It is His priesthood you bear. He understands your sorrow.
He knows your grief. He and our Father in Heaven will bless, comfort,
and strengthen you; They will walk beside you and carry you as you
strive to right your course.
My dear brethren, you are truly choice and precious sons of Heavenly
Father. He has entrusted you with the sacred power of the priesthood.
Please do not drift off course, not even a few degrees."
I testify that this is so true!
Next miracle/lesson. Sakai Shimai is a less active. Her records aren't
even actually in our ward records. She was baptized in Yokohama and
moved here. We found her in the area book. We don't even know how the
previous missionaries knew about her. It seemed from the records that
she wasn't getting anywhere. We called her up and she kept telling us
that we shouldn't waste our time on her. She was sick and hadn't been
to church in years. At times, during our phone conversations the last
couple of weeks, she has been hysterical telling us that she still
prays, but sometimes she prays that she will just die. No matter how
many times she told us that she couldn't meet, we didn't give up.
Because we didn't have her records, we had now way of knowing where
she lives. We called again, and simply asked for 5 minutes to take to
her by an eki she told us she lives close to. Before she arrived, we
did kubarikai. She saw us trying our hardest to find new people to
teach and however short our first visit might have been, we
established a relationship of trust. She didn't think anyone cared
about her. We looked back at the records in the area book and found a
member who knew her. We set up a dinner appointment with the member
and her at the church. It was pouring rain that day, and she still
came. Getting her into the church without actually having church was a
really good way to ease her into coming to church this week. She has
totally changed in this short time. She is happy and the members were
so good to her telling her they need her and are glad she is back. I
love this story. It was and still is super faith promoting for me.
Never give up on anyone.
Another never give up story is actually about someone in Kasukabe that
me and Sister Miyaki found. Her name is Bibiche. She is actually a
referral of Blanche, if you remember her. Natsukashi ne. Oh, wait, I
need to tell you about Blanche a little more. I didn't feel like I
should tell you back then, but I feel like now is okay. While she was
taking the lessons and had a baptismal date, she asked us a strange
question. She asked if those who are pregnant can be baptized. Me and
Sister Miyaki thought it was sort of strange and then she told us she
might be pregnant. Not something we really wanted to deal with,
but.... Well this one day we just felt really prompted to ask her
about plans with if she was pregnant. To make a long story short, had
we not asked that question and talked about it, she would not be
having babies. When I say babies, I mean babies. It turns out that she
is having twins and she is about ready to pop so I hear. Wow, what a
miracle. Talk about saving lives. I knew missionaries help save
spiritually, but that day, we saved physically as well. Anyway, back
to Bibiche. We got her number and she was supper friendly and we tried
setting up appointment after appointment, after appointment with her.
There were times when we would just wonder if we could teach her just
once. Well, she has a baptismal date and I hope to be going to
Kasukabe when it happens. I love and miss my area sooo much. I was
talking to Sister Miyaki this past week and she said that when I left,
all the sisters the next transfer agreed that sometime soon I would
come back. I hope so.
Nomura san is a referral from an excommunicated person. It is the
excommunicated persons mom. Kind of strange, but...we go with it. She
is so sweet. She is progressing little by little. She lives close to
our apartment, she we can just drop things in her post every once in a
while and she loves it. She needs to feel love. Don't we all?
Nakahigashi fuufu wants to return to church. We are currently working
hard with the members to make this happen by next month.
Ryuuya kun had his interview for baptism on Sunday and everything is
looking good for Sunday 29. He is doing so well and the change has
been unbelievable. Thank you all so much for the prayers in his
behalf. I know they are working. The whole Kawamura family struggles.
Lots of inactivity and such. He Grandma brought Rakuto kun to church
for the first time since we've been here and it was so good to see
him. He is the most adorable boy you will ever met though he sure does
have a little bit to much energy. He gave me a hug when he saw me at
church and I about melted. Cute! Ryuuya kun gives me hugs too. Love
it!Ok hand sign
Okada Rika san also came to church yesterday. She is one of our less
active members niece. She is so sweet and is going through so many
hard times right now. She just needed to remember who she was. I cried
as I realized how important we are as daughters of god. We overlook it
all too often. She is listening to the lessons. Love her sooooooooo
And I love you all so much too! Have an incredible week!

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